In the Field, near Chattahoochee River
TO HENRY W. HALLECK. Cypher.
Hd. Qrs. Mil. Div. of the Miss. In the Field near Chattahoochie River
July 13 th/64
General Halleck, Washington, D.C.
All is well. I have now accumulated Stores at Allatoona and Marietta both fortified and Garrisoned points. Have also three points at which to cross the Chattahoochie in my possession, and only await General Stoneman’s return from a trip down the river to cross the army in force and move on Atlanta. Stoneman is now out two days, and had orders to be back on the 4th or 5th day at farthest. Rousseau should reach Opelika about the 17th of July.
Before Regulations are made for the States to send recruiting officers into the Rebel States, I must express my opinion that it is the height of folly. I cannot permit it here. I will not have a set of fellows here hanging about on any such pretences. We have no means to transport and feed them. The Sanitaries and Christian Commission are enough to eradicate all traces of Christianity from our minds; much less a set of unscrupulous State agents in search of recruits. All these dodges are make shifts that render us ridiculous in our own estimation. I must protect my army, and I say beforehand, I have no means to transport Recruiting Parties South of Nashville, or to feed them, if they come here, in spite of me.
W. T. Sherman, Major General Commanding
The weather is excessively hot and I am rearranging my supplies in the rear and preparing the army to cross the river. This gives me some time to write letters. I have asked Thomas to wait until the day after tomorrow to cross, because Stoneman is still out, and McPherson is not up to Roswell yet. Schofield has made a fortified lodgment on the south bank that is well defended. When I put my troops across, I want them ready to move forward.
Stoneman reports from down river to the southwest:
MOORE’S BRIDGE, GA., July 13, 1864
By taking a roundabout way, and by unfrequented roads, our parties succeeded in capturing or cutting off every scout the enemy had out. We surprised the guard at the bridge (the First Tennessee Cavalry), and drove them from the bridge before they had time to set fire to the straw and pine-knots prepared for its conflagration. The Eleventh Kentucky Cavalry had the advance, under Colonel Adams, and did the thing handsomely. The bridge had been partially destroyed by tearing up the sleepers and planks, but we will have it repaired during the night. It is a covered structure, very well built, 480 feet long, on two spans. One of the couriers we captured came down on this side of the river, bore a message to the commanding officer here that the Yankees were coming in large force, and that he must hold the bridge at all hazards, and that re-enforcements were on the way. This point is twenty-five miles from Campbellton.
There is another bridge at Franklin, twenty-five miles lower down. Newman, on the railroad, is ten miles from here, and I understand the road leads through dense woods. We will try what we can do tomorrow morning as soon as it is light. I can hear of no railroad bridge in this vicinity. The people, negroes and others, say the road runs on a ridge, but if we do nothing to the road it will create a diversion.
GEORGE STONEMAN, Major-General
Dodge reports the bridge at Roswell complete and a double track. McPherson is not yet at Roswell. Men are leaving Atlanta. Equipment is moved from the city toward Augusta.
Some farmers want to send hay and grain from Tennessee to other states. Our army can use all the grain and hay. I have ordered the quartermaster to purchase that which is for sale and prohibit it from leaving the state. The grain and forage should supply our army and not the army of the enemy.